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Meet the Members of the U.S. Curling Teams at the Winter Olympics

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Nov 21, 2021; Omaha, Nebraska, USA; John Shuster (left) and Korey Dropkin compete during U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling at Baxter Arena.

John Shuster (left) and Korey Dropkin compete during U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling at Baxter Arena.

OMAHA — Team Shuster, which made history in 2018 for winning the first ever gold in U.S. men’s curling, is headed to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing to see if it can strike gold again.

This will be the fifth time that John Shuster, who is the team's skip, will be competing in the Olympics.

"It’s definitely going to be special to get a chance to go back and see what we can do and see if we can’t win another gold,” he said. “I’m sure, now that we’re going back, there’s going to be a little bit of a target that other countries are going to put on us.”

The 2022 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling started on Nov. 12 here in Omaha with six men’s and six women’s teams. The playing field narrowed as teams were eliminated until two men’s and two women’s teams headed to the best-of-three finals that began Friday night.

Joining Shuster, 39, of Duluth, at the 2022 Olympics will be two of his three of his 2018 gold-medal teammates: Matt Hamilton of McFarland, Wis. and John Landsteiner of Duluth.

Chris Plys of Duluth replaced Tyler George, who retired after the 2018 Olympics. However, won’t be Plys’s first Olympics—he was an alternate at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. He got some time on the ice in Vancouver when he stepped in to replace Shuster during a tournament.

The alternate on Team Shuster’s 2018 gold medal team, Joe Polo, played against Team Shuster on Team Dropkin in the finals. Other members of Team Dropkin are Korey Dropkin, Mark Fenner, and Tom Howell. Dropkin’s alternate is Alex Fenson.

The men’s finals started with Team Dropkin winning 8–4 against Team Shuster on Friday. On Saturday, Team Shuster beat Team Dropkin 7–3, forcing the teams to square off on Sunday night in the winner-take-all match. In a tight battle, Shuster and his crew defeated Dropkin 5–4 to punch their ticket to Beijing.

Following Team Dropkin’s loss Sunday night, 38-year-old Polo said he plans to take a year off from team curling and just focus on mixed doubles.

“I’m getting kind of late in my career and I’m thinking I’m probably going to take a year off and see how it goes,” the vice skip said. “I might continue to play mixed doubles with my partner Tab (Tabitha) Peterson and just kind of enjoy playing.”

Team Peterson will be the women’s curling team representing the U.S. at Beijing. The team includes two sisters Tabitha Peterson of St. Paul and Tara Peterson of Eagan, Minn., as well as Nina Roth and Becca Hamilton, who are both from McFarland, Wis. The team alternate is Aileen Geving of Duluth.

Hamilton, 31, is the sister of Matt Hamilton of Team Shuster. She previously made it to the 2018 Olympics and placed eighth in team and sixth in mixed doubles. Now she is hoping to get the U.S. women’s team curling's first gold medal.

“Watching my brother get his gold medal four years ago, I knew I wanted to get back there so I could get one too,” she said. “We worked really hard these past four years and the squad is better than ever right now so I am excited to get back out there and hopefully bring home the gold.”